English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) learned it was more important to please God than to please men. Knowing that he was doing what was honoring to the Lord kept him from discouragement when he was falsely accused by his enemies. Once Whitefield received a vicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing. His reply was brief and courteous: “I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me. With love in Christ, George Whitefield.” He didn’t try to defend himself. He was much more concerned about pleasing the Lord. (Daily Bread, August 18, 1992).
Job 35 and 36 continues with Elihu, the young, outspoken, zealous preacher waxing eloquently explaining to Job all his wrong doings and how he knows God’s heart better than Job did. Elihu’s message is not bad in the sense he magnifies God’s power and transcendence. The only problem with his message is that he’s pointing these comments to a man who not only knows about God’s goodness, but has lived and come through trials making His goodness something tangible in his life.
There will come times in our lives when we will be falsely accused of wrong doing. The important thing for us to do is to ensure there’s no room for those accusations to stick. Work today to live righteously so when that time comes, your name can be easily cleared. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”